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Broken arm
Broken arm

Broken arm

Rock fall or a high-impact landing following an unexpected tumble can result in a broken arm when climbing. Although not generally life-threatening, a broken arm can be very painful.

STEP 1: SECURE YOUR CLIMBING PARTNER
The injured person is hanging on the rope and, if possible, should be lowered down to a safe place. Continuing to climb is no longer an option. The fractured area may slowly turn purple and may appear disjointed.

STEP 2: ATTACH SPLINT
If help is a long way off, or if you need to rappel or descend further, it is a good idea to splint a wrist fracture, for example. If a rescue team can reach the accident site quickly, it will suffice to protect the arm with a sling.
Applying a splint always means moving the arm and this causes pain. So it is best to practice applying a splint in advance so as to be well prepared for an emergency. To do this, the splint is applied on both sides by folding it into a guttering shape and then carefully positioning it under the injured arm. Now affix the splint loosely to the arm using a gauze or elastic bandage.

STEP 3: ALTERNATIVE MAKESHIFT SPLINT
If you do not have an aluminum splint to hand, you can improvise using a topo. This should be rigid enough to provide the required support.

STEP 4: MAKE A SLING
The splinted arm is placed in a sling so that the injured person does not have to hold the arm unsupported. This is done by tying a small knot in the 90° corner of a triangular sheet of cloth. This end serves as a pocket for the elbow. One end of the triangle is now fed carefully under the injured arm and tied behind the neck to the other end to form a sling. The fingers should also now be inside the sling.

STEP 5: EMERGENCY CALL YES OR NO?
It is definitely the end of the tour. Decide together whether climbing down is sensible or if it would be better to make an emergency call.

VIDEO
Broken arm

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